A leading Sydney business owner and marketing specialist has delivered a piece of advice for any business that’s not online – get digital fast, or miss out on global customers.
Leona Watson, founder and managing director of the inner-city based business, Cheeky Food Events, will share her tips and digital marketing expertise at the City of Sydney’s new free seminar series for businesses, Small Business Digital 101.
The first seminar in the four-part series, ‘Learn to grow your audience using Google’, will be held at Customs House on Wednesday 28 March.
It is designed to give businesses access to experts from Google, Facebook, Instagram and WeChat alongside successful small business owners sharing advice for getting the most out of digital and social media platforms.
On the night, six business owners will also be selected for free 15-minute one-on-one sessions with Google representatives for tailored advice to help their businesses grow online.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the new seminar series followed research and consultation with local business owners who said they needed help building their professional digital and social media skills.
“Now that most Sydneysiders have a smartphone in their pocket and around the clock access to the internet, it’s clear a digital strategy is critical to the success of any small business,” the Lord Mayor said.
“We’ve designed this series to fill a knowledge gap for local businesses, giving them access to leaders in the field, from key platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google and WeChat, with the digital and social media insights that will help their businesses thrive.”
Since leaving the corporate world to launch Cheeky Food Events 15 years ago, Ms Watson has seen the online business landscape transform dramatically.
“I started out cold-calling clients to drum up business. Now I use online to drive leads for sales, find my target market and hone my messaging to attract new clients,” Ms Watson said.
“The great thing is that you can get started with a little bit of knowledge. It’s about learning to put your time, energy and business skills online in a way that works for your target market’s behaviour.
“But the digital landscape is always evolving, so you’ve got to stay on top of that. Online is not a set and forget proposition.”
Seminar presenter Richard Flanagan is Google’s Head of Business Marketing for Australia and New Zealand. He describes the internet as “rocket fuel for businesses” and says every business needs an online presence.
“Businesses that get found online can connect with customers in their suburb, interstate, or even abroad. It enables you to have a virtual storefront that’s open 24/7, inviting people to learn more about your products and services,” Mr Flanagan says.
“Digitally engaged small businesses are more than 50 per cent more likely to be growing and they’re also seven times more likely to be exporting, which is good news for those businesses and the Australian economy.”
Joining the line-up is Michael Rantissi, award-winning chef and business partner of the popular Redfern eatery, Kepos Street Kitchen. Mr Rantissi will reveal how he effectively uses online customer feedback to shape his business strategy.
The City’s four free Small Business Digital 101 seminars featuring industry leaders with successful local business operators, a networking session and opportunities for one-on-one mentoring will be held at Customs House from March to December.
Seminar: Learn to grow your audience using Google
Date: Wednesday 28 March
Time: Registrations open at 6pm, event runs 6.30pm to 9pm
Cost: free, but bookings are essential
Bookings and event information: whatson.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/events/small-business-digital-101-google
Future seminars are:
- Create genuine followings and convert them to sales using Facebook – Wednesday 30 May
- Create a thriving online community and generate sales using Instagram – Wednesday 25 July
- Learn to use digital channels to promote and sell to Chinese consumers – Wednesday 26 September
For media inquiries or images, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Advisor Belinda Wallis
Mobile 0467 810 160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Matthew Levinson
Mobile 0499 319 385 or email email@example.com